According to the Guardian News Report, the top five regrets of the dying are:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Bronnie Ware, a brave Australian nurse, counseled dying people and recorded their “dying epiphanies.” (Ware wrote her observations into the book, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.)

Although I have not yet read her book, the article detailing the list and the list itself are fascinating and can be a lesson for us – or two – if we choose to listen.

Courage sticks out to me from the list – courage to be myself, to be open and vulnerable, and to surround myself with loving, positive people, all resulting in a happy and joy-filled life. Dreams unfulfilled has to be one of the most painful regrets; dreams that we let go and walk away from for what seems to be good reasons at the time.

And the last one – I wish I had LET myself be happier. Yes! Happiness is a choice.

What do you think? Would you add to this list or take away?

Top 5 regrets of the dying